Posts Tagged ‘soft drinks’

More on the Philadelphia soda tax

When I wrote about the Philadelphia soda tax last week I didn’t expect it to stimulate much in the way of systematic lawbreaking, as distinct from lawful evasion by consumers’ heading out to buy in the suburbs. But Bob McManus, writing at City Journal, has probably seen farther than I:

…for retailers who deal in, say, 100-case lots ($720), or major-market wholesalers handling 10,000-case shipments ($72,000), the temptation to integrate untaxed product into their inventories and pocket the difference is obvious.

In other words, the primary mechanism of unlawful evasion will probably not be speakeasy-like underground depots, but rather ordinary merchants’ temptation to falsify their volume of soda business for tax purposes. And some branch of city law enforcement will then have the responsibility of policing all these corner store operations without succumbing to either corruption or oppression. Isn’t it great that the Philadelphia police department has such great relations with corner bodega owners?

P.S. Presumably unrelated touch of Philly roughness: Jillian Kay Melchior/Heat Street on the role in getting the bill passed of much-feared construction unionist John Dougherty, seen earlier in this space.

Food roundup

  • Almond growing in California is not all that water-intensive compared with other crops. So why does it gets demonized in the name of social justice? [Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover]
  • Had unexpected findings of a study on dietary fat and health 40 years ago been fully aired, nutrition policy might have taken different turn [Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post] “Today’s scientific hypotheses may be wrong. Better, then, not to make them law.” [David Boaz, Cato]
  • Royal Crown Cola was on its way to becoming one of the great soda companies, then came the cyclamate scare compounded by the irrational Delaney Clause [Mental Floss]
  • Jayson Lusk on the economics of food waste;
  • “Menu Mandates and Obesity: A Futile Effort” [Aaron Yelowitz, new Cato Policy Analysis, earlier]
  • “When an industry demands that the government regulate it more strictly, you usually don’t have to look very far to find a barely-hidden agenda.” [Jesse Walker, Reason on catfish makers]

Food roundup

  • Delay FDA menu labeling rules? Tinker? No, repeal [Baylen Linnekin, earlier]
  • European trade negotiators would like to keep cheeses and beverages on American shelves from bearing names like Parmesan, Gouda, feta, Champagne, port, and sherry unless made over there. Nein danke, no grazie, non merci [William Watson, Cato] Weird how EU laws prevent spirits producers from being completely honest with consumers [Jacob Grier]
  • Regressive-yet-progressive: “Taxing soda fits the narrative in which the obese are oppressed and soda manufacturers are the oppressors.” [Arnold Kling]
  • New research (“no consensus among scientists on whether a population-wide reduction of salt was associated with better health outcomes”) could be blow to Gotham’s sodium regulation cause [Dan Goldberg, Politico New York] “Suit Halts NYC’s Misguided Restaurant Salt Warning Labels” [Linnekin]
  • Lawyers in hot coffee suits still pushing “unreasonably high holding temperature” theories [Nick Farr, Abnormal Use, earlier]
  • Chef turned Amish traditional sausage maker in rural Maine finds that regulation is a grind [Linnekin]

Food stories of the year

Baylen Linnekin asked several food policy wonks what they thought were last year’s and next year’s biggest food stories, and here is part of my reply:

The troubles at Chipotle (whose food I like and buy, despite its dumb anti-GMO stance) brought home two points: local and handmade and every other good thing bring real tradeoffs, and food hazards aren’t just the result of moral laxity fixable by replacing “them” with educated idealists like “us.”

I also predicted that food commentator Mark Bittman, often criticized in this space, would find few takers for his notion of carding kids who want to buy a Coke. Read the whole thing here, and unrelatedly, if you are interested in food issues, check out this Russ Roberts interview with outstanding food scholar Rachel Laudan (earlier).

October 7 roundup

Food roundup

  • Tufts doc who wants to “eliminate” sweetened drinks is senior author on flawed new study on their health effects [Gil Ross, ACSH]
  • Nick Gillespie interviews celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian (“In Praise of Free Enterprise Food”) and Whole Foods’ John Mackey. “Despite the strength of our local food movement, Kentucky joins Delaware and Rhode Island as the three most restrictive states in the country for cottage food sales.” [LEO Weekly, Louisville]
  • Fears of toast-spread homebrew in remote communities: “Australia suggests Vegemite sales limit amid ‘alcohol abuse'” [BBC] More: less-sensational followup coverage h/t reader Mark N. in comments;
  • You really ought to give Iowa-defiance a try: Rand Paul is latest candidate to oppose ethanol mandate [Rare]
  • “Next Time Government Gives You Dietary Advice, Consider Doing the Opposite” [David Harsanyi] Multiple topping combinations + steep penalties add up to vexation for pizza makers under FDA menu labeling mandate [Savannah Saunders, Economics21; Veronique de Rugy, Reason] “Health Canada Gets it Right, While FDA Goes Further Astray, on ‘Added Sugars’ Labeling” [Glenn Lammi, WLF]
  • “Federal Judge, Referencing FDA Order on Trans Fat, Permits State-Law Class Action to Proceed” [Glenn Lammi, WLF]
  • Plaintiff says he bit into someone else’s gold tooth in his biscuit [Nick Farr]